PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Well over 1,000 people have attend a send-off for a massive statue of Marilyn Monroe that has become beloved by both tourists and locals in the two years it was on loan from The Sculpture Foundation.

The Desert Sun (http://bit.ly/1mxlYak ) reports the downtown party Thursday included a performance by the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Guests included Carol Channing, who originated on Broadway the role Monroe played in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

The 26-foot-tall (eight-meter-tall), 34,000-pound (15,422-kilogram) statue named “Forever Marilyn” will soon go to Hamilton, New Jersey, for an exhibit honouring its designer, Seward Johnson.

The sculpture depicts Monroe in her memorable billowing skirt pose from the “The Seven Year Itch.”

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Information from: The Desert Sun, http://www.mydesert.com/